Short answer: Yes.
But which of Sachin Tendulkar‘s records will Virat Kohli manage to break remains to be seen. Let us do a projective statistical analysis of Virat Kohli’s stats to see where he stands. First, let’s take a look at the master’s records:
This is where Virat Kohli stands as of today (28 January 2016):
Now, I am going to make some assumptions here:
- Kohli is going to play for exactly as long as Tendulkar did i.e. up to the age of 40.56 years.
- He will continue to play at the No.3 position.
We know how hard Kohli trains, I am very confident he can play until 40. Tendulkar started his international career at age 16 while Kohli started at age 19, so he is going to lose out on 3 years worth of career duration. But on current form (in the last 3 years), he has already made up for it!
This is where Kohli will be at the time of his retirement on 31 May, 2029:
Notice the 5 highlighted cells? Those are the records that stand broken.
- Kohli will reach his 50th ODI century in his 326th innings in July 2023.
- Kohli will surpass 18,426 runs in ODIs in his 416th innings in August 2027.
- Kohli will reach his 97th ODI half century in his 439th innings in September 2028.
- Kohli will play his 464th ODI in October 2028.
The other notable Tendulkar records he is slated to break are:
- Highest number of international hundreds (111)
- Highest number of international fifties (179)
- Highest number of international runs (35,533)
- Highest number of international innings (832)
The important thing to note is Tendulkar’s test record. That is going to remain untouched. Even Kohli on current form will not be able to get anywhere near it.
To Kohli’s critics, this is what I have to say:
I am a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar and I want his records to stay for posterity as much as you do. But let us face it, Virat Kohli on current form cannot be ignored. He is easily able to notch huge scores. He has a 5% better century conversion rate (for innings of 50+) compared to Tendulkar.
Look at his year-by-year stats. He has improved with each year.
Bonus: Virat Kohli’s record in run chases in ODIs is unmatched. You have to see it to believe it!
Update (10 February 2016): Statistics has its limitations. I started off saying I am only going to do a simple progression analysis. And basic arithmetic progression is what I did. I am no expert, just another cricket follower. 🙂
In my defence, I did show how Kohli has actually improved with each year. There will be a time when he will be on the decline as well in his later years, just like Tendulkar. I didn’t account for that. As for IPL, I admit the early burnout did cross my mind as well, but I left it with an assumption that Kohli manages to stay as fit for the rest of his career. He has played through 8 IPLs so far with no fuss.
TL;DR, I put forward my opinion without guaranteeing any confidence of accuracy. I welcome you to make your own prediction as well, because it’s fun!